Leopard ahoy!

Now that fink has finally started to show some maturing support for Mac OS X 10.5, I’ve upgraded on scud.

I re-used my home directory from Tiger, without any help of migration tools other than chown. Mail.app upgraded its data and so far everything’s gone smoothly.

Managing users has changed a bit: you have to Ctrl+click the account in System Preferences and select “Advanced Options” to change the usual POSIX fields. If you’re serious, check out dscl(1):

 dscl . -read /Users/$(whoami)

Looks like Apple’s Terminal.app has improved a great deal, almost surpassing iTerm. However, it still fails short in the tab apartment: AFAICS Terminal.app’s tab titles always display the process name and don’t respond to the usual xterm escape codes, and the visual style of the tabbar isn’t nearly as nice as iTerm’s Aqua style.

Trying to switch to fink unstable doesn’t work as advertised: you must use the CVS method of selfupdate (rsync being the default).

After Software Updating to 10.5.4, X11.app broke.

1/07/08 4:04:01 PM org.x.X11[12697] /usr/X11/libexec/x11-exec: Unable to find application for org.x.X11

Since Apple’s official updates are lagging by more than 6 months, it’s better just to get it from the xquartz project.

Photoshop doesn’t like case-sensitive filesystems, but there is a (tedious) workaround. I totally agree that this is just laziness on the part of the Adobe devs: it would take 1 man less than a day to do the appropriate case consistency changes given the source code: there’s nothing to break.

Apache 304s and mod_deflate

The deflate output filter in Apache breaks Apache’s handling of the HTTP cache validation model. It won’t send an HTTP 304 status if mod_deflate is actively filtering the response, even if the Etag and Last-Modified allow it to. I asked, and apparently this is a known issue. I might have to wait until after exams before making a patch for this one.

In its current state, this introduces a tradeoff for large, uncompressed static files (like CSS and Javascript):

  • gzip stuff, and you improve site performance the first time someone visits, but it never gets any faster.
  • allow Apache to send 304 statuses, let the user have a slow load on their first visit, but celebrate as they hit their cache thereafter

The second option looks more attractive.

Browser wars… 2008-style

So, Firefox 3.0 and Opera 9.50 were released within 5 days of each other (June 12 and June 17 respectively). It’s good to see both browsers being progressive and targetting bragging rights such as Acid3, even if they only score 70 and 83 respectively. I notice neither of them pays due attention to deferred scripts, but I guess everyone is using AJAX nowadays instead?

As for the other browsers… I’ve got no problems with Safari. It’s a competent browser, but doesn’t have Opera’s cache/connection leverage or FF’s dev features. I doubt MSIE will even display this post and I don’t care. So, there’s the state of the art.

The firefox upgrade was weird because the RC3 “Check for Updates…” function assured me that I had the latest version. This was further confused by the lack of any RC markings or build numbers in the “About Mozilla Firefox” dialog. It became apparent that I had silent upgrades on, but I don’t recall ever being informed that FF had patched itself.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the DOM Inspector still doesn’t conform to the LnF of the updated Firefox interface. I’d assumed this was a detail that would get polished before the final.

While we’re in a browser-technologies-mood: here’s my rdb opensearch definition for rolldabeats. For all your DnB discography needs.

Opera have munged the keyboard shortcuts. The change seems to be for the better as it’s unified the Windows/UNIX/Mac sets by using guard conditions like Platform Mac. They’ve also deprecated single-key shortcuts, which is fair enough because if you had a textbox focused then they were useless and confusing.

One thing that tripped me up was the Feature ExtendedShortcuts guard, which is activated by the “Enable single-key shortcuts” checkbox in the preferences. The shift+I shortcut for toggling images between cached, all and none was under this guard—but it’s two keys, right?